Episode 10 Helicopter Heroes


Episode 10

The team prepare for an amputation after a farm worker is trapped by his legs, a drink driver causes a major car crash, and hoax calls cost the team thousands of pounds.


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Transcript


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If you're critically ill or seriously injured in a place like this,

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there's only one thing that can save you. And that's speed.

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It doesn't matter where you are, this helicopter,

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with its highly-trained team of pilots and paramedics, will fly to your rescue at 2.5 miles a minute.

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These are Yorkshire's Helicopter Heroes.

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When the people of Britain's biggest county dial 999,

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there's a good chance help will come from the skies.

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The Yorkshire Air Ambulance is ready to scramble 365 days a year,

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and each one brings a new life or death emergency.

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Today on Helicopter Heroes, the team face a terrible dilemma.

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A trapped farm worker may lose his legs or his life.

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He's got his legs stuck in this screw, and it's gone underneath a concrete slab.

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A drunk driver is badly injured.

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She's got a nasty leg injury and nasty arm injury, so...

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she'll be in a lot of pain when we try to move her.

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Pilot Steve's in a tight spot as he attempts a dramatic landing.

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And a 999 call takes up a lot of time.

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The case of a tipsy teenager ties up 40 members of the emergency services.

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When you work nine-to-five on a farm, there are all sorts of hazards

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that can turn an ordinary working day into a life-changing ordeal.

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ON RADIO: '...male who was trying to extract his machinery...'

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There's been a 999 call from a farm, and it sounds serious.

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Helimed 98 is on the case.

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The gentleman is trapped by his legs.

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There's no land crew on scene yet.

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A crew and emergency practitioner are en route at the moment.

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They are screaming for a doctor.

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It is lucky that anaesthetist Dr Steve Rowe is flying today as a volunteer.

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He used to work on a farm, and he knows his medical skills may be tested.

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There tends to be lots of large machinery on farms,

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and every year I see a couple of folk

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that have unfortunately met the wrong end of the machinery.

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With farm accidents, pilot Tim Taylor rarely has to worry about finding somewhere to land.

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I've got visual with the vehicles in the middle of the farm building.

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We'll land in the grey concrete area.

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The accident's happened in a battery hen house.

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Their 29-year-old patient's trapped in machinery, and in agony.

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He's got both his feet firmly fastened into the auger, a chicken auger.

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We are giving him a bit of pain relief at the moment,

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and the fire brigade are potentially trying to free him.

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Tony was trying to clear a blockage in a powerful auger that removes manure from the hen house,

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when he lost his balance and both his feet became trapped in a heavy steel corkscrew.

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Anthony.

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Am I touching your right foot or your left foot?

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Right or left?

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-Right side.

-OK, so that's your right foot. Good.

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But the damage to Tony's lower legs is so serious, the medics can't tell exactly what they're looking at.

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It would need both his legs to be broken and opened in this not very clean environment.

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Tony's been breathing Entonox, a pain-killing gas,

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but his pain is so intense he needs something stronger.

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-Shall we get the Ketamine out?

-Yeah.

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Ketamine? It's a pain-relieving drug as well as...

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It's more humane for the patient. It can effectively knock him out.

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Ketamine is so powerful, only doctors can prescribe it.

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Well done. That's the deal.

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The fire brigade aren't short of advice on how to free Tony.

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Knocking that section of wall out, we can lift it up six inches... well, up to that high.

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The auger will have to be lifted,

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but they are dealing with tonnes of steel encased in a shaft

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that goes through a wall.

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-Anthony?

-Yeah.

-Good. Just keep taking nice, steady breaths.

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OK, mate. You're doing really well.

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Have you got any oxygen on board your vehicle?

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Can we have...as many as you've got, please.

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Yeah.

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Do you want Entonox as well?

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Tony's bleeding heavily from his legs, but they're buried

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almost up to his knees in foul-smelling chicken manure.

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It will have to be removed, but it's not the smell that worries Dr Steve.

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It's infection. But swilling the droppings away from the wound is impossible.

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Tom, pass us that chimney sheet.

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The medics put a tourniquet on Tony's legs to help stop the bleeding.

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Steve's putting a tourniquet on, which basically is wrapping something around the leg,

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then you tie it up, which stops the blood flowing into the legs.

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Obviously Steve thinks that once we get his legs out, he might bleed heavily.

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So he's putting something on to stop the blood flow to his lower legs.

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Time is running out. Paramedic Pat knows that as the operation to free Tony goes on,

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the chances of having to abandon the fight to save his feet increase.

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Surgical team.

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Sammy can't say the word on her mind...

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amputation.

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What's your flight time to LDI?

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-Five minutes.

-Cos we might want a surgical team.

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We're looking at amputating his feet. All right?

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Surgical instruments and another doctor are on standby at a nearby hospital

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to allow Dr Steve to carry out the first amputation of his career in a chicken hut.

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Me and Tim are going to fly to Dewsbury hospital to pick up Andy Poutney and bring him back here.

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As Pat and Helimed 99 take off to collect the second doctor, scalpels and a saw,

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only a specialist fire brigade rescue team can now save Tony's legs.

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Coming up, the fire brigade have a plan, and it could save Tony's legs.

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My colleagues in the fire service are just making some room behind me

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to actually lift the screw up and see if we can take it off his legs.

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There's a tricky rescue operation on the canal bank.

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And on a frozen pond, the Helimed team are called to a suspicious hole in the ice.

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The body remains upright in the water. There could be two people in there.

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When I wore a uniform for a living,

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I would despair at the number of people who would still drink and drive.

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And sometimes these guys have to come face to face with the effects of motorists who think

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they can handle a few drinks as well as their cars.

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It's the morning rush hour in South Yorkshire.

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On a busy road near Barnsley, three cars have collided.

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One driver was trapped and seriously injured.

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The crew of Helimed 99 are on their way to the scene,

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and paramedic Darren Axe, who was born in the next village, knows it well.

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Initial reports are that people are trapped in the car.

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We don't know how many at this time.

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You don't know what you are going to see until you get there.

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The driver of a Ford Mondeo is lying across the front seats of her car.

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Her arm and leg are badly broken.

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Freeing her would mean taking her car apart.

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The crash is a mystery.

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The road is straight and visibility's good.

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It shouldn't have happened. But one of the ground paramedics seems to have an idea.

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The driver is slurring her words.

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Allegedly this lady here, in this vehicle, has had a few to drink.

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This will feel a bit uncomfortable, all right? Just to support your neck.

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If it's comfy, we've done it wrong.

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If you look at her hand, it's obviously nasty.

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I'm struggling to dress this properly, so I'm just doing it to keep it clean.

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It's not very pretty to look at, is it?

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Alcohol's doing one good thing for their patient.

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It's clearly acting as a painkiller.

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If that was me, I'd be screaming my head off.

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She's not complaining now, but she might.

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She's got a nasty leg and arm injury, so...

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she'll be in a lot of pain when we try to move her.

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So we're going to get some pain relief ready to give her.

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If she starts to scream out, which I'm sure she will, we'll have to stop and give her some pain relief.

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Drink driving doesn't just affect those who choose to risk it.

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The woman in the Mondeo is one of three casualties.

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A man in a people carrier has received less serious injuries,

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and another motorist is being taken off for a check-up.

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-Northern General have a really good plastics department. They'll put your arm back together.

-Will they?

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This woman's just become a statistic.

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She's one of around 3,000 road users killed or seriously injured each year

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in accidents where alcohol is a factor.

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Nearly one in six of all road deaths is caused by booze.

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But to the paramedics, all patients are the same.

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You said you'd not, but have you had a drink at all?

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Don't shake your head. It's really important to tell us.

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-No. Not since last night.

-Did you have a lot last night?

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Um...I had a bottle and a half of wine.

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Despite all the signs to the contrary, the driver thinks she's sober.

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And she seems to believe that the one she drank the night before can't be a factor in her accident.

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I can't believe... I were just going home. I can't believe this.

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Binge drinkers can take up to 24 hours to be fully sober.

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Paramedic Simon has seen his fair share of the misery caused by drink driving,

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but these guys are professionals.

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Just rest your leg down.

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That'll take all the pressure off it, won't it?

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Blame doesn't enter the equation for the Helimed team.

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She may have broken the law, but the severity of the woman's injuries mean she'll be flown to hospital.

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The other two patients with less serious injuries will go by road.

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Coming up, paramedic Simon lends an ear as his patient comes out with her account of what happened.

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I can't believe... I just turned around that corner and that car was there.

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The battle to free a trapped farm worker is stepped up.

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Start to lift now. You lift, I'll get them a lift.

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And a police search team struggle to find a man trapped in an ice-covered pond.

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Now, this thing weighs three tonnes and takes years of training to fly.

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Imagine if you could drive your car at 150 miles per hour,

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and had to take in a dash like this.

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But some emergencies even stretch the Helimed pilots to the limit.

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Yorkshire is criss-crossed by hundreds of miles of waterway.

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The canal banks on the Pennine foothills are a favourite with walkers.

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But today, one waterside hike has ended in agony.

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Pam Watts has a broken ankle.

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Her injury isn't serious, but her predicament is. It's a cold day, dusk is approaching,

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and she's more than a mile from the nearest road.

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In a situation like this, ground paramedics know just who to call.

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Helimed 99 is on the way.

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We've got a fractured ankle, which, on the face of it,

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shouldn't be life-threatening injury.

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It's just the location that is a problem,

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to actually move her to the ambulance.

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Quite often when we actually put the patients onto the helicopter,

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we relocate the helicopter to where the ambulance can get to

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and then leave them with the ambulance crew.

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For pilot Steve Cobb, this route is familiar.

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My house is down there.

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Do you support the local brass band?

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I support the local pub.

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Looking at hospitals, we've got Huddersfield, which is only three miles.

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And that's a secondary transfer, so...

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Hopefully it might be just a case of moving the patient to the ambulance, maybe.

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For paramedic Tony Wilkes, this will be a tricky case.

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Pam's lying at the top of a muddy embankment.

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Carrying a stretcher back to the chopper could end in an injury much worse than a broken ankle.

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Can't see any wires or anything from my side.

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Me neither.

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To get near to their patient, pilot Steve's only choice is to land the chopper on the towpath.

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But he's going to need some help on the ground.

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Boggy. Very boggy.

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-What do you want me to do?

-Do you want to jump out?

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-Tony doesn't mind.

-I think...

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The paramedics have been trained to guide the helicopter in.

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So Tony's dropped off in a nearby field, while Steve has one more look at his landing pad from the air.

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-Do you think you can get up there?

-Yeah, I think so. Yeah.

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Don't see anything unusual there.

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The towpath was built 250 years ago to be wide enough for a man and two horses to walk side by side.

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But pilot Steve is about to try it for size with his three-tonne helicopter.

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Not a loss of chance here, is there?

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Steve has more than 5,000 hours logged

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over 20 years in the captain's seat, but this will test even his skills.

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Helicopters are generally recognised as among the most complicated aircraft to fly.

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-You've just hovered over a bit further...

-He's...

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Tony's still calling you down.

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Forward.

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Down.

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Steve's trying to touch down in an area just two feet wider than the landing skids.

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One slip, and £3 million worth ends up in the drink.

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With Tony's help, Steve's done it.

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The ground crew at the scene have done a great job and fully brief Tony.

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They'd been walking the two dogs. Her husband's taking the dogs back.

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One's pulled her over.

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She's got a fractured left ankle and also a fractured wrist.

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It's just in there because it was cold. Entonox is needed, and her pain's...quite reasonable now.

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The location the lady's in there is quite difficult to get to.

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And they'd have had to carry her over a wall and down a quite steep and slippy bank.

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This is just about wide enough for us.

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We got Tony to come up and just do a recce for us, check it was OK and just guide us in.

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It's worked out quite nicely.

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-Pam, have you flown in a helicopter before?

-No.

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No? Do you fancy doing it now, eh?

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So what we're gonna do, we're gonna get a stretcher out, we're gonna sit you up,

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get you on, get you buckled up, OK? And then we'll pop you down to Huddersfield.

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It doesn't take long before Pam's on the chopper's special stretcher...

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She's a very fit lady.

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She'd proper boots on and everything, that's what's unfortunate.

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..and ready to be loaded into Helimed 99.

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Ready, Pam? Ready, steady, lift.

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But it's going to be a tight fit.

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Landing pads are normally five times this size.

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But the crew did the right thing calling the chopper in - it's a long walk to the road.

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You all right there?

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With Pam safely on board, Steve must run through a longer than usual take-off checklist.

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-Let's review the obstacles.

-Yeah.

-One tree.

-One wall.

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Another tree.

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Power lines, hill...

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-Horses behind.

-I think that's just about covered everything?

-Yep.

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-All clear.

-Thank you. We're clear of the tree.

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Straight up to avoid the back end hitting the wall, and Pam is on her

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way to Huddersfield Hospital for some bone setting.

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And a few days later, she's back home with a tale to tell about an amazing landing.

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Sort of about that much between the path and the wall, and the helicopter landed just about...

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well, about 10 foot away from my feet.

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I actually thought his blades were gonna touch the wall when he came down, cos it's quite a high wall.

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I mean, it was just like landing on a sixpence.

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If I'd have seen it coming down, I probably would have had kittens, you know, coming at me that close.

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But he kept my face covered till they cut the motor.

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Coming up... the police investigation into a drink-drive accident gets under way.

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Plus Helimed 99 is scrambled on an expensive wild goose chase.

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The medics who fly in this helicopter often have some terrible decisions to make.

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Imagine having to choose between losing a limb or your life.

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Now, imagine making that decision for someone else.

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Dr Steve Rowe has to right now.

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On a farm on the outskirts of Bradford, a major rescue operation is under way.

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Farm worker Tony Dolan is trapped by his legs after falling

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into an industrial auger, a giant corkscrew designed to remove manure from the hen house where he works.

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Paramedic Sammy Wills and flying doctor Steve Rowe know

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that if he can't be released soon, they'll have to amputate his legs.

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We're looking at amputating his feet.

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A second doctor's already on his way by air to assist with the operation,

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and only a specialist fire brigade rescue unit can save his legs.

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This team is trained to deal with explosions and disasters, and they know speed saves lives.

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But Dr Steve Rowe's priority is keeping Tony alive.

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Fellow flying doctor Andy Pountney has arrived in Helimed 99 to help amputate the patient's legs.

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-He's well and truly stuck.

-Right.

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He's had about 125 of ketamine so far, reasonably comfortable on that.

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If they wait too long, Tony's life could be

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in danger through the toxins already building up in his crushed legs.

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-We'll see what we need and...

-Just give us a shout what you want, Andy.

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Inside the hen house, Tony's condition is being carefully monitored on an ECG.

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Any deterioration and they will begin surgery.

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But outside, the firefighters have other plans.

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They're demolishing part of the wall to create enough space to lift the auger free of Tony's legs.

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His legs are well and truly under there.

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We've tried getting them out by easing them out, it's not working.

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So our colleagues in the fire service

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are just making some room behind me to actually lift the screw up

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and see if we can take off his legs.

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Part of the steel manure removal system will have to be cut to free the huge corkscrew.

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Is that the vibrations?

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But the vibration is hurting their patient.

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There's nothing they can do.

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It's unusual for us, but this really is necessary.

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Slowly, the auger is being lifted.

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We've only got a short travel distance to lift it, and then it's blocked and chopped.

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So as you lift it up, we're placing the blocks and wedges underneath so it's not gonna go back down again.

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-Do you want some more clearance?

-Everybody got a piece?

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Start to lift now. You lift, I'll get them to lift.

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Are you ready? Hold it when you get it.

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After more than an hour, the rescue team finally ease the auger off Tony's legs...

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And slide back and slide back.

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Let's go!

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And he's free.

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Let's go, guys. Yeah, we're clear.

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Let's go. Let's go.

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Down. Ready?

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It's all right, it's all right. Calm down.

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So we've got him out, managed to lift the screw off him, and his feet just popped out, which is good.

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So we're gonna get him stabilised and take him into LGI now for an assessment.

0:20:470:20:52

Keep your hands in, we're going to lift you outside now. You're out!

0:20:520:20:55

It's been a very close thing.

0:20:550:20:57

A few minutes longer and the doctors would have had to amputate.

0:20:570:21:01

But the team know Tony's condition is still very serious.

0:21:010:21:04

He's bleeding heavily and this is the very worst environment in which to sustain a traumatic injury.

0:21:040:21:11

Can you get someone to run through two bags of saline,

0:21:110:21:14

we're gonna rinse this off and get some saline and we'll dress it.

0:21:140:21:17

Trying to irrigate these wounds, because they're covered in...

0:21:170:21:20

Chicken manure has contaminated his wounds.

0:21:200:21:24

If infection sets in, he could still lose his feet.

0:21:240:21:26

It's vital they're cleaned up rapidly and he reaches surgery quickly.

0:21:260:21:31

Are we ready for the lift?

0:21:310:21:33

-Yeah.

-One, tow, three, lift.

0:21:330:21:35

-Anthony, are you all right?

-Keep that arm down for us, Anthony.

0:21:350:21:40

All right, Anthony? Yeah?

0:21:400:21:43

The medicine's going to make you feel a bit strange, but don't worry, you're OK.

0:21:430:21:47

OK? You're out, and we'll get you to hospital very shortly.

0:21:470:21:49

The next half-hour could decide whether Tony walks again or is permanently disabled.

0:21:490:21:55

Coming up...

0:21:590:22:01

rescue at last for Tony, but will surgeons be able to save his shattered feet?

0:22:010:22:05

We'll make sure his airway, breathing and circulation are absolutely fine,

0:22:050:22:08

make sure there's enough fluid flowing round in his veins to get him into theatre as soon as we can.

0:22:080:22:13

And a police search team struggle to find a man trapped in an ice-covered pond.

0:22:130:22:18

I mean, we do get sometimes where people step out onto the ice,

0:22:180:22:22

make a hole and then retrace their steps, cos they think it's funny.

0:22:220:22:26

Now, how do you decide who most needs an air ambulance?

0:22:290:22:33

It's a simple decision for the Helimed dispatchers.

0:22:330:22:36

If you're trapped inside a car, you get a helicopter.

0:22:360:22:39

It doesn't matter what caused the accident.

0:22:390:22:42

On a rush-hour route near Barnsley, there's been a three-car shunt,

0:22:420:22:47

and paramedics believe one driver's boozing might be the cause.

0:22:470:22:52

It's taken 20 minutes for firefighters to prepare the car for the patient's removal.

0:22:520:22:57

Now they will need to clear the way to Helimed 99, which is waiting to carry the motorist to hospital.

0:22:570:23:03

We could do a blood pressure, actually, before we do give her the morphine.

0:23:030:23:08

Is there any pain, while we're here?

0:23:080:23:10

Any pain in your tummy?

0:23:100:23:12

No? ..This leg obviously hurts.

0:23:120:23:15

Pilot Tim Taylor managed to land within 100 metres of the accident,

0:23:200:23:24

but the route from crash to chopper isn't straightforward.

0:23:240:23:28

-Would it be criminal damage if I pushed these over?

-Not if YOU do it!

0:23:280:23:32

Don't hurt yourself, mate.

0:23:320:23:34

And neither is the delicate task of lifting the driver from her wrecked car.

0:23:340:23:38

-Where's that hurting?

-My leg.

-Whereabouts on your leg?

0:23:400:23:43

-Is it your ankle?

-Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh!

-That's brilliant, Sharon. All done.

0:23:430:23:49

Just rest it down.

0:23:490:23:51

-You're all packaged up neatly. We're gonna slide a board underneath you...

-Yeah.

0:23:510:23:55

..and just slide you into the helicopter, out the car.

0:23:550:23:58

-All right?

-Are we ready, then?

-On your count.

0:23:580:24:00

-Straight under, yeah?

-I think we might need some more manpower here.

0:24:000:24:03

Back injuries are common amongst paramedics,

0:24:030:24:06

and the best way to avoid them is by calling in reinforcements.

0:24:060:24:11

On up, then. Ready, steady, up.

0:24:110:24:14

There we go.

0:24:140:24:15

OK?

0:24:170:24:19

It's not surprising police have taken a keen interest in this case.

0:24:190:24:23

Normally they'd be breathalysing anyone they suspect of drink-driving,

0:24:230:24:27

but the woman's condition means they must wait.

0:24:270:24:29

Now we're strapping you to this helicopter stretcher,

0:24:310:24:34

gonna pop you in the helicopter and fly you to Sheffield.

0:24:340:24:37

-Oh, gosh.

-I know, it's scary, innit? But don't worry, Tim's done it before.

0:24:370:24:41

People pay a fortune to fly in helicopters.

0:24:410:24:45

I can't believe... I just turned round that corner and that car was there.

0:24:450:24:49

Yeah?

0:24:490:24:51

Well, yeah, these things happen.

0:24:510:24:52

Thanks, lads...and lasses.

0:24:540:24:56

Thank you, anyway.

0:24:560:24:59

Pop this oxygen on your face, yeah? All right?

0:24:590:25:01

Paramedic Simon doesn't drink at all when he's driving, and he doesn't think much of those who do.

0:25:010:25:06

I saw far too many accidents like this when I was a copper,

0:25:060:25:10

and Simon's lost count of patients he's treated in circumstances like this.

0:25:100:25:14

The woman will soon be undergoing surgery on her badly broken arms,

0:25:150:25:20

but that's not before she's taken a breath test.

0:25:200:25:22

Because of her history, the woman was later sentenced to six months in jail, suspended for 18 months,

0:25:220:25:28

given a three-month curfew and ordered to wear an electronic tag.

0:25:280:25:33

She was banned from driving for a year and a half

0:25:330:25:35

and ordered to take a test before she gets behind the wheels again.

0:25:350:25:39

It's not so bad when drunk drivers just injure themselves, it's when

0:25:390:25:44

they injure other people that it becomes hard to become...

0:25:440:25:47

Remain detached, if you like.

0:25:470:25:50

But, you know, it's our professional responsibility to be detached

0:25:500:25:54

and to offer the same level of care to everybody,

0:25:540:25:56

regardless of how the accident's occurred and what's occurred beforehand.

0:25:560:26:01

I think in any, you know, ambulance personnel's book,

0:26:020:26:05

they're never, ever going to be popular, these people.

0:26:050:26:08

Whether they're good people in everyday life doesn't really matter.

0:26:080:26:12

Once they've consumed a quantity of alcohol and then decided to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle,

0:26:120:26:18

it's like being let loose with a loaded gun.

0:26:180:26:21

Coming up - a trapped farm worker reaches hospital, and there's relief for the team treating him.

0:26:290:26:35

-I'll be having a thorough shower when I get home.

-I said, "Hurry up, it's my turn!"

0:26:350:26:39

Seeing the world from 2,000 feet doesn't half make it look small.

0:26:430:26:46

That's Sheffield down there, home to half a million people.

0:26:460:26:49

And on an average day, about 100 of them will need to make a 999 call,

0:26:490:26:54

but only a lucky few will get these guys coming to help.

0:26:540:26:57

Today's emergency services are a highly-trained and multi-skilled network

0:26:580:27:03

of rescue teams using some of the most up-to-date technology.

0:27:030:27:07

And the Helimed team is the pride of the fleet.

0:27:070:27:09

But resources like these don't come cheap - an RAF chopper, eight grand an hour.

0:27:090:27:14

So wasting their time is an expensive business,

0:27:140:27:18

and the bad news is, hoax or trivial call-outs cost millions every year.

0:27:180:27:22

Apparently you've been stood down on this helicopter crash and diverted to another detail, over.

0:27:240:27:30

Today, many of these resources are racing to a frozen lake near Sheffield.

0:27:300:27:35

Someone's spotted footsteps on the ice and they think someone's fallen into the freezing cold water.

0:27:350:27:41

Tony, does it look as though it's north or south of Sheffield?

0:27:410:27:44

It's north-north-west, just to the east of Stocksbridge.

0:27:440:27:48

The Helimed team takes every 999 call seriously, but like their colleagues on the ground,

0:27:480:27:53

their job is made harder and more dangerous by pranksters who use the emergency services

0:27:530:27:58

as a very expensive prop in their practical jokes,

0:27:580:28:01

and something doesn't quite ring true about this particular job.

0:28:010:28:05

Any more information, over?

0:28:050:28:08

Negative...

0:28:080:28:10

Police divers are searching under the ice in freezing conditions, but they've found nothing.

0:28:100:28:15

It looks as if one set of footprints leads straight to the hole, one set of footprints goes out there,

0:28:170:28:22

and then come straight back to where the hole's been broken into the ice.

0:28:220:28:27

At the moment, there's no footprints actually leading back.

0:28:270:28:30

Fire crews and ground paramedics are also on the way, and the team want Helimed 98 there just in case.

0:28:300:28:36

With the divers failing to find anything from under the ice,

0:28:360:28:39

paramedic Lee Davison wants to use the chopper to look from above.

0:28:390:28:43

Is it worth us having a look over the top to see if we can see anybody underneath?

0:28:430:28:48

But even from the air, there's still no sign.

0:28:480:28:50

We're just coming to attend to assist, really.

0:28:500:28:53

Obviously if someone has been submerged for a length of time,

0:28:530:28:56

we'll need to get them to hospital as soon as possible.

0:28:560:28:59

But you never know, if somebody's gone into icy water very quickly,

0:28:590:29:02

then they can actually be resuscitated for a time afterwards.

0:29:020:29:06

The South Yorkshire Police underwater team are

0:29:070:29:09

regular officers who are called in for jobs like this.

0:29:090:29:12

It's a dangerous and time-consuming business.

0:29:120:29:15

The search is also putting a strain on the local emergency services.

0:29:150:29:19

Dozens of rescuers are waiting to help, but all they can do is watch.

0:29:190:29:24

Police divers started doing the initial search.

0:29:240:29:27

Usually in these situations the body remains upright in the water.

0:29:270:29:32

It could be two people in there.

0:29:320:29:35

The hi-tech intercom system allows the team on dry land to talk to the diver.

0:29:360:29:40

He might have found something.

0:29:400:29:43

RADIOS CRACKLE

0:29:430:29:46

But it's another false alarm.

0:29:460:29:49

You've done a full circuit.

0:29:490:29:51

He's coming back up to the surface and he'll bring himself out,

0:29:510:29:54

out of the pond, and get him back out to the side.

0:29:540:29:56

He's been under ice, so we've had to check the bottom and the underside

0:29:560:30:00

of the ice to ensure that the person is not stuck underneath the ice.

0:30:000:30:04

It could be a historic or it could have been there a couple of days.

0:30:040:30:08

After well over an hour of searching, the operation is finally called off.

0:30:080:30:13

There's no sign of a body and it appears that rescues team's suspicions have been confirmed.

0:30:130:30:18

We do get it sometimes where people step out onto the ice, make a hole

0:30:180:30:21

and then retrace their steps because they think it's funny.

0:30:210:30:24

But as we can see, there's a lot of people here who...

0:30:240:30:27

have not wasted their time, but in certain terms if it's a prank...

0:30:270:30:32

they're taking a lot of resources up.

0:30:320:30:35

Nearly 6,000 hoax calls were made to Yorkshire's emergency services

0:30:350:30:39

last year, costing the taxpayer millions of pounds.

0:30:390:30:43

The Helimed team return to base counting the cost of another wasted journey.

0:30:430:30:49

You're putting yourself at risk for some idiot

0:30:490:30:52

who thinks it's clever to dial 999,

0:30:520:30:55

just to see ambulances or even fire engines and police cars

0:30:550:30:58

rushing around with blue lights on.

0:30:580:31:00

Ambulance emergency. Can I take the telephone number you're calling from?

0:31:000:31:05

CALLER INAUDIBLE

0:31:050:31:07

It's a different day, but the same old story.

0:31:120:31:15

A 999 call says there's been a smash on one of Yorkshire's major motorways.

0:31:150:31:20

We've got reports that a lorry overturned on the A1, M1 link road.

0:31:220:31:28

It's an area of the motorway that we've come to quite often.

0:31:280:31:31

There's quite a sharp bend in the road there.

0:31:310:31:34

We believe that there's a driver or occupant of the HGV that's still trapped.

0:31:340:31:39

When you've got large vehicles like this that are over on their side,

0:31:390:31:43

the forces involved in this are quite significant.

0:31:430:31:47

The wreckage tends to come in and crush around the occupants of these vehicles.

0:31:470:31:52

The extrications can be quite lengthy.

0:31:520:31:55

500 feet below Helimed 99, a co-ordinated response is underway with the police, the fire service

0:31:550:32:01

and ground ambulances, putting themselves and other road users at risk, racing towards the scene.

0:32:010:32:08

It's normally this just here, in't it?

0:32:080:32:10

-On this bend. Where they...

-Yes.

0:32:100:32:13

..lose it.

0:32:130:32:15

-Can you see owt, Steve?

-Not at the moment, no.

0:32:150:32:18

There's no wreckage no sign of queuing traffic.

0:32:180:32:22

It's only taken five minutes to get there, but it costs the Helimed team hundreds of pounds every time

0:32:220:32:27

they respond to a 999 call, and working in helicopters

0:32:270:32:30

is more dangerous than your average desk job.

0:32:300:32:32

Hoax call. The police have run back to say that there's nothing there.

0:32:320:32:37

And stand down.

0:32:370:32:40

Money's been raised generally by members of the public.

0:32:400:32:43

Sometimes corporate, but often by members of the public.

0:32:430:32:45

We can't replace this easily.

0:32:450:32:47

For us, every pound counts.

0:32:470:32:50

We could really do without flying when we don't have to.

0:32:500:32:53

I'd think any, every time that any emergency ambulance or police or fire respond to a call,

0:32:550:33:02

there's always an increased risk, a calculated risk. But you're driving often above the legal speed limit.

0:33:020:33:09

You're driving and out of traffic. So you're increasing the risk of an accident happening.

0:33:090:33:13

Ambulance emergency. Can I take the number you're calling from?

0:33:130:33:16

'No! Bye!'

0:33:160:33:19

Emergency. Can I take the telephone number you're calling from, please?

0:33:190:33:23

Hello? Hello?

0:33:230:33:26

It's dawn in Sheffield.

0:33:290:33:31

At Helimed 98's base, the team are preparing to go on an intriguing emergency call.

0:33:310:33:36

Clear left, please?

0:33:360:33:37

-Clear left.

-Cheers.

0:33:370:33:39

I'm not really familiar with the area.

0:33:390:33:42

But where we need to be is near a crossroads of the railway lines.

0:33:420:33:46

OK. They described it as an open road. Whether they meant disused, I'm not sure.

0:33:460:33:52

A teenager has been found on a disused railway line by a couple

0:33:520:33:56

of early rising dog-walkers and they can't wake him up.

0:33:560:34:01

Paramedics Sammy Wills and Glen Powell are already trying to work out what's happened.

0:34:010:34:06

Their young patient could be in a diabetic coma, or fallen and banged his head.

0:34:060:34:11

-At the moment, JJ, all we know is that he's a 14 or 15-year-old...

-15-year-old.

0:34:110:34:16

On a disused or maybe unopened road.

0:34:160:34:19

I don't know if there's any new roads being built. This was a rough...

0:34:190:34:23

It could be a disused railway.

0:34:230:34:25

It could be. There's a few.

0:34:250:34:27

But the crew must also consider another scenario.

0:34:270:34:31

This has all the signs of being the aftermath of an alcohol-fuelled night out.

0:34:310:34:36

There's a pylon and a bit of grass on the right hand side as we're looking.

0:34:360:34:40

Where the pylons are, I'll come down inside of them.

0:34:400:34:44

Local emergency services have turned out in force

0:34:440:34:47

and the Helimed team head straight to where they're parked.

0:34:470:34:50

Disconnecting...

0:34:500:34:52

But the teenager is still a mile's walk away and you don't need to do that when you've got a helicopter.

0:34:530:34:59

He's not in the road. He must be somewhere else.

0:34:590:35:01

-Apparently it's a 15 minute walk down that way.

-All right. So we don't know where he is then?

0:35:030:35:08

I'm trying to speak to Dave. I've got nothing back from him.

0:35:080:35:11

This is as close as they can get.

0:35:130:35:16

But there's still some thick undergrowth and a steep slope between the team and their patient.

0:35:160:35:21

-Am I pulling you down now?

-All right.

0:35:210:35:23

Are you ready? Woo-hoo! Ooh...

0:35:270:35:29

Open your eyes, mate.

0:35:290:35:32

-Has he spoken?

-He's still refusing to co-operate with his name.

-Right.

0:35:320:35:37

This looks serious and the boy's blood sugar level is low.

0:35:370:35:40

But after a quick check-over, Glen recognises the symptoms.

0:35:400:35:45

He said he'd been out drinking last night.

0:35:450:35:47

-Has he told you he's a diabetic?

-No, he says he's not a diabetic.

-Right.

0:35:470:35:51

I could've brought you a blanket, mate. Do want me to go and get you a blanket?

0:35:510:35:55

What's your name? Tell us your name.

0:35:550:35:57

BOY GROANS

0:35:570:35:58

Go on, then we can do this paperwork and leave you be.

0:35:580:36:02

The young lad is nursing a pretty serious hangover.

0:36:020:36:06

One which has taken a helicopter, four medics

0:36:060:36:09

and a couple of policemen off the front line.

0:36:090:36:12

He's had some alcohol last night and been out all night.

0:36:120:36:15

I know it looks a bit cruel, but we've given him some medication

0:36:150:36:19

and it takes about 10 minutes to bring him round.

0:36:190:36:22

So we're just letting that take effect,

0:36:220:36:24

so he's not angry and aggressive towards us.

0:36:240:36:26

There's probably a few people wondering where the boy is, because it appears he's been out all night.

0:36:260:36:32

Thankfully it's midsummer and it's relatively mild.

0:36:320:36:35

But if it had been a few months earlier,

0:36:350:36:37

it could've been a very different story.

0:36:370:36:40

Come on. You need to talk to us. We'll have to stay with you until we find out who you are.

0:36:400:36:44

Shall I help you stand up, fella?

0:36:440:36:46

-How does that feel?

-I'm all right.

0:36:490:36:51

Do you want to put your hat on?

0:36:510:36:52

Binge drinking costs the country billions of pounds every year.

0:36:540:36:58

And the cost of sorting out this teen is rising every minute

0:36:580:37:02

the emergency services are on the scene.

0:37:020:37:04

But the fact is there could be another patient who needs Helimed 98's life-saving skills nearby.

0:37:040:37:10

He's come round and he's eventually decided to do the right thing.

0:37:100:37:14

He'll be tucked up in bed in a few hours

0:37:140:37:16

after he's been checked out by the hospital.

0:37:160:37:18

He's a 15-year-old.

0:37:180:37:19

He'll probably get into trouble when he gets home.

0:37:190:37:22

He's been missing during the night. So, yes.

0:37:220:37:24

He's anxious not to get found out, but unfortunately he's in a predicament

0:37:240:37:28

where the police are here, the ambulance service is here and we're gonna take care of him.

0:37:280:37:33

With nothing worse than a sore head, the teenager will soon be

0:37:330:37:38

just another statistic as he heads to the local A&E for a check-up.

0:37:380:37:42

He'll go by road, which will allow this £3,500 a day air ambulance and

0:37:420:37:47

its team of flying paramedics to get back to the jobs of saving lives.

0:37:470:37:51

Let's catch up with a case of the farm worker

0:37:540:37:57

trapped in machinery in the hen house where he worked.

0:37:570:38:00

Tony Dolan came within minutes of losing his foot after he was trapped

0:38:010:38:05

in an industrial corkscrew at a battery hen house outside Bradford.

0:38:050:38:09

Now after a tense two-hour rescue operation,

0:38:110:38:14

he's on his way to specialist treatment at Leeds General Infirmary.

0:38:140:38:18

Despite his dramatic escape,

0:38:180:38:21

minutes before flying doctor Steve Row was forced to amputate,

0:38:210:38:24

Tony's still in real danger from the bacteria

0:38:240:38:27

in the chicken manure in which he was trapped.

0:38:270:38:30

OK then, Tony.

0:38:300:38:32

Good lad. How's your pain just now?

0:38:320:38:34

It's still hurting.

0:38:340:38:36

It's hurting the very badly. OK.

0:38:360:38:37

We'll give you some more painkillers in just a second, OK?

0:38:370:38:40

He's lost a big toe and both feet have been badly crushed.

0:38:400:38:44

Hello. Are you all right? Do you know where you are?

0:38:440:38:47

-No.

-No? OK. You're on top of the Leeds General Infirmary hospital.

0:38:470:38:51

The lift from the hospital helipad

0:38:510:38:53

will take Tony six floors down to resus -

0:38:530:38:56

the A&E department where the most seriously-injured patients are assessed.

0:38:560:39:00

Hello there. How are you doing?

0:39:000:39:03

The crash team is waiting to assess Tony's injuries.

0:39:030:39:06

He had a tourniquet applied to his left leg for about an hour whilst we extricated him.

0:39:070:39:12

The decisions they make over the next 10 minutes could decide

0:39:150:39:18

whether Tony walks again or loses one or even both feet.

0:39:180:39:23

We need to make sure his airway breathing and circulation are fine,

0:39:230:39:26

he's got enough fluid flowing around his veins,

0:39:260:39:29

he's got painkillers and antibiotics.

0:39:290:39:31

We'll get him into theatre as soon as we can,

0:39:310:39:33

but we need to assess his injuries at the end of his legs.

0:39:330:39:36

They must balance repairing his wounds with removing enough

0:39:360:39:40

debris to minimise the chance of serious infection from the manure.

0:39:400:39:43

The main problem with this

0:39:430:39:45

will be contamination and infection.

0:39:450:39:48

He clearly was buried quite deeply in all the chicken muck,

0:39:480:39:51

so it's prime for infection to take hold.

0:39:510:39:54

The guys are giving him antibiotics to ward off against that.

0:39:540:39:58

The way in which Tony was injured is critical to the treatment they give him,

0:39:590:40:03

and thanks to a helpful illustration found on the internet,

0:40:030:40:07

they know what an auger looks like.

0:40:070:40:09

Doctor Steve and paramedic Sammy had to come closer than they'd like to

0:40:090:40:13

the manure from the more than 1,000 chickens Tony was looking after.

0:40:130:40:17

I'll have a thorough shower when I get home.

0:40:170:40:20

This is the first chance they've had to begin the big clean up.

0:40:200:40:24

I said, "Hurry up, it's my turn!"

0:40:240:40:27

It's not just the crew of Helimed 98 that need a shower.

0:40:270:40:30

Their equipment is covered in an unwanted reminder of their day down on the farm.

0:40:300:40:35

As much as we tried to catch

0:40:350:40:37

the bodily fluids leaving this gentleman's legs,

0:40:370:40:41

as it was coming out...

0:40:410:40:43

We just had to keep him safe, and unfortunately the stretcher got it.

0:40:440:40:48

Decontaminating their patient's wounds will not be so easy.

0:40:480:40:51

For Tony, the next 24 hours will be crucial.

0:40:510:40:55

For the next four weeks, Tony's in and out of theatre

0:40:580:41:01

as surgeons battle to save his legs.

0:41:010:41:05

It's still touch and go but Tony's trying his best to stay positive.

0:41:050:41:08

It can get to you sometimes.

0:41:080:41:12

But in your head you've got to know

0:41:120:41:13

that you're going to get to that stage of walking again.

0:41:130:41:16

I know in my head I want to get up and get out

0:41:160:41:20

and walk and stuff like that,

0:41:200:41:22

but I know that if I do I'll probably end up doing more damage

0:41:220:41:26

to myself than owt else.

0:41:260:41:27

It's in my head I've got to do it. I've got to make it.

0:41:270:41:31

Tony's legs were so badly damaged his doctors are having to use other parts of his body

0:41:310:41:36

to help with the reconstruction process.

0:41:360:41:39

About a week ago they did skin grafts,

0:41:390:41:41

taking skin off different parts of my body to put on to my legs,

0:41:410:41:46

and muscle out of my body, out of the top part of my thigh here,

0:41:460:41:50

and out the back of my shoulder.

0:41:500:41:52

He wishes he didn't, but Tony clearly remembers what happened.

0:41:520:41:57

I tried to pull myself out.

0:41:570:41:58

Didn't work.

0:41:580:42:00

Had a vision of seeing my legs just disappear

0:42:000:42:03

and me just sat there still, and my legs just disappearing

0:42:030:42:06

because the machine's just ripped them to bits and pulled them apart.

0:42:060:42:09

Yeah, I thought I weren't going to get out. I thought that were it.

0:42:090:42:13

I'm not letting it beat me. I'm determined to walk.

0:42:150:42:18

At the end of the day I were born with two legs,

0:42:180:42:21

and I'm keeping two legs.

0:42:210:42:23

When Helicopter Heroes comes back...

0:42:240:42:26

A man severs his hand in an accident,

0:42:260:42:28

but the Helimed team are determined to save it.

0:42:280:42:32

We'll go direct to LGI. Hopefully they can stitch it back on.

0:42:320:42:35

There's a race against the setting sun as an injured rider is flown to hospital.

0:42:350:42:40

10 to 15 minutes, maximum.

0:42:400:42:43

The chopper flies to the rescue of a ground ambulance bogged down on a rugby pitch.

0:42:430:42:47

We're going to push the ambulance off the field.

0:42:470:42:50

There's a touch down on the motorway after a multiple pile up

0:42:500:42:54

brings gridlock to the M6.

0:42:540:42:56

Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd

0:43:010:43:04

Email [email protected]

0:43:040:43:07

The team prepare for an amputation after a farm worker is trapped by his legs, a drink driver causes a major car crash and hoax calls cost the team thousands of pounds.


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